Butterfly Anti-Fatigue Mat Review
A fun, playful option for those looking for varied terrain without a hefty price tag. Although offering less traction control than some of the other mats we’ve tested (it can slip across the floor a bit too easily), the Butterfly mat is manufactured to a decent standard for this price tier, and comes with a 100% money back guarantee.
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36 x 24 x 1.4 inches
Blue, Black and Purple
Polyurethane and PVC blend
Great value for money.
“Calculated Terrain” yields some ergonomic benefits.
The unusual design will stand out in any office.
Poor traction control on the bottom side means the mat is prone to slip easily on certain surfaces.
Multi-layer construction won’t perform as well as mats made from 100% polyurethane.
Limited color options.
Who ever said a mat needs to have four corners? The creators of this attention-grabbing Butterfly mat certainly didn’t feel constrained by any shape-based conventions. And while one might suspect this particular mold was selected purely based on its cutesy, aesthetic appeal, upon closer inspection we found that the design boasts some real ergonomic advantages.
The incorporation of curves and contours into the butterfly shape provides users with an uneven terrain on which to stand, encouraging movement and promoting balance: Raised bumps on the wings are positioned where the balls of your feet would naturally fall, creating a soothing, massage effect for tired soles and the central ‘teardrop’, along with ridges and mounds surrounding the mat, offer up opportunities for a variety of standing postures. The ‘calculated terrain’ of the Butterfly mat delivers benefits similar to that of Ergodriven’s Topo mat, which is specifically designed to counteract the negative effect that flat, urban landscapes have on our biomechanical health.
The downside of a contoured mat is that it is not suitable for use underneath a chair. If you’re planning on frequently switching from a standing to seated position at the same desk, you should factor in the inconvenience of moving it when not in use.
The Butterfly mat counts polyurethane - a material that does not compress over time and offers unrivaled ergonomic benefits for standing mat users over extended periods of harsh usage – as one of the materials used in its multi-layer construction. Unlike mats made primarily with foam or gel, a polyurethane core retains its structural integrity in the face of repeat contact with chairs and high heels. In order to achieve the highest levels durability and support, however, a standing mat should be made out of 100% polyurethane and cast in a unibody mold. The Butterfly mat, on the other hand, has an outer layer of PVC, which is more prone to rips and tears than the more costly polyurethane material. In addition, this multi-layer construction renders the components of the mat vulnerable to separation.
Unlike made-in-USA mats we’ve reviewed that are made of 100% polyurethane, the quality of the butterfly mat belies is Chinese origins. Even though the mat we reviewed was a sample sent by the factory, we could feel air pockets in the mat. This is stark contrast to USA-made mats like EcoLast, where such an article would be thrown in the scrap pile for recycling. USA-made mats are also made to much more stringent EPA standards than Chinese factories must comply with. All this by way of saying that you get what you pay for, and when it comes to standing mats, there’s a big difference in what you can expect from onshore versus offshore manufacturers.
Although the underside features a series of grooves designed to improve traction, we found the butterfly mat slips across the floor more easily than those made of tackier and flatter 100% polyurethane. Users should be aware of this particularly if their floor is tile or wood. The mat should not, however, present much of a tripping hazard; the bevelled edges and ‘no-curl’ design ensure this risk is reduced.
At present the butterfly mat is available in one size and three color options: black, blue and purple. We hope in the future the variety of colors and prints will be expanded to really take advantage of the design opportunities this quirky office addition brings.
Overall, the butterfly mat delivers excellent value for money. With its “calculated terrain,” the butterfly compares to similar products such as the Topo mat, promoting frequent position changes and calorie burning through increased movement. That said, the terrain variations are not as deliberately derived as those of the Topo – they are mostly there to represent the shape and spotting of a butterfly.
The 36 by 23 inch surface area provides ample room for restless legs and even at its thinnest point (the mat’s thickness ranges from 7/8" to 1 2/5") offers sufficient support to maintain comfort even after standing for long durations. Unfortunately, because the mat is not made from 100% polyurethane, it is more susceptible to damage in the long run and users may wish to tread carefully (particularly while wearing stiletto heels!)
Check out our Anti-Fatigue Mat Comparison Review to see how this standing mat compares to the competition.